With Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit from Old Trafford gaining momentum, Manchester United have seemingly begun looking for long-term replacements for the 37-year-old striker. According to the latest reports, Man United are said to be monitoring Red Bull Salzburg’s 19-year-old striker Benjamin Sesko as a potential target heading into the final month of the transfer window.
As per Slovenian outlet Sports Klub, Sesko’s agent is already said to have held a meeting with RB Salzburg’s sporting director – discussing the striker’s future – following his impressive display during the club’s pre-season friendly against Liverpool earlier this week. Although reports suggest Salzburg remain reluctant to lose the striker this summer – slapping a £55m price tag – Sesko could potentially seek an ambitious move before the end of the transfer window, with Real Madrid said to be the player’s preferred option over any other club.
While there remains no bid from Manchester United for Sesko, the latest reports suggest the Red Devils have held talks with Salzburg, however, a potential deal remains complicated owing to the Austrian club’s reluctance to sell. Nevertheless, with several clubs interested in his services including Chelsea, a move to Old Trafford remains on the cards provided United succeed in convincing the player to be part of Erik Ten Hag’s project at United, starting this season.
Benjamin Sesko – Promising Potential
Having risen through the ranks – displaying an exemplary scent for goal, Sesko established himself as a prodigy in the Austrian league following his brilliant spell with FC Liefering; scoring 21 goals in 29 outings during the 2020/21 season. Following his return to RB Salzburg last season after his loan spell and Liefering, the 19-year-old striker scored 11 goals across all competitions, all whilst helping Salzburg retain their Austrian Bundesliga championship alongside registering six appearances in the Champions League.
Whilst having been partially overshadowed by 20-year-old Karim Adeyemi’s tremendous goal-scoring record (23) with Salzburg last season, Sesko is already said to have made his mark across Europe, having already bagged two goals and an assist across all competitions this season. Moreover, an impressive string of performances has seen him net four goals in four consecutive fixtures including the tie against Liverpool earlier this week.
Having gradually grown in reputation throughout last season, an international debut in June with Slovenia saw the 19-year-old become the nation’s youngest goal-scorer in a 4-0 win over Malta last October. Since, the youngster has garnered the interest of numerous clubs including Newcastle United, Bayern Munich, and Tottenham Hotspurs alongside Manchester United and Chelsea.
A Wise Addition Under Ten Hag?
Predominantly serving as an out-an-out striker, Sesko’s attributes draw similarities to that of former Salzburg striker Erling Haaland. Towering at 6’4”, the Slovenian international not only boasts the ability to operate as a target man but is also exceptionally capable of using his pace, intelligence, movement, and technical ability in linking-up play alongside outsmarting opposition’s players across the middle and attacking of the pitch.
Moreover, with a tendency to bully defenders owing to his intimidating physical strength and aerial ability, Sesko emerges as a unique striker capable of fulfilling a multitude of tactical requirements subject to the coach’s philosophy. With Ten Hag having worked wonders with Sebastian Haller at Ajax, given Sesko’s potential, the Slovenian is likely to develop into a world-renowned forward under the Dutchman over the coming years, provided a move to Old Trafford materialises this summer.
Additionally, given the 19-year-old’s athleticism and energy combined with a willingness to press high up the pitch, Sesko could emerge as Ten Hag’s ideal striker over the coming seasons. Having undergone promising development at Salzburg, the youngster will be keen on making the big step in the immediate future.
With Manchester United short on depth in quality across the attacking third, Benjamin Sesko could provide Ten Hag with much-needed dynamism in the central areas alongside the player serving as cover for the team’s first-choice striker moving into the season. Although aspects of his game remain to be developed, considering the diminishing possibility of Ajax forward Antony’s move to Old Trafford this summer, Sesko boasts the potential to emerge as a welcome addition to the squad, with Ten Hag likely to utilise the striker in cup competitions and the Europa League provided a move to Old Trafford materialises before the end of the window.